The rule of murder mysteries is that the author must establish a small set of characters and successfully carry a story with those characters so that each could plausibly have committed the crime. There are combinations that mix numbers from the set to establish certain rules of the fiction, or of the relationships between characters, and then, at the end, the set reveals its false bottom -- a new variable that meets all the definitions to have been included in the first place -- and out comes the legitimate killer. It's a math problem, when put to paper. This is how Turow's novels work anyway, and Innocent is a well done effort exactly in that vein: the reader is kept guessing, and, joyfully, never quite guesses right. This novel also benefits from its two strong predecessors -- Presumed Innocent and, in a better book with as much Sandy Stern as you could hope for, The Burden of Proof -- as well as the now iconic 1990 film with Harrison Ford, which frees Turow to play with the now-adult Nate Sabitch and law clerk Anna Vostic as half-leads. All in all, it's an enjoyable ride -- the slow start in defining the set hits an excellent pace in the courtroom, and the book catches us up with a cast we've sorely missed. I could read another two or three novels set in Rusty Sabitch's world, but I'm not sure we'll get that chance.